Dialogue

My writing is  moving along better than I hoped for. Working on chapter 56 and can see the ending  it site – of course I’m using binoculars!

I’ve some ‘honey-do’ items on the schedule, so I am cut down to just two days of writing this week. Thought it went good today and if I can hold onto that feeling I might be tempted to write on the weekend.

Some good dialogue, I think.

When I write dialogue, I write it as quickly as if it was being said. I want to capture the moment and good dialogue seems to flow, whether you’re writing it or reading it.

When I go back  over the pages of dialogue what I find is that each person I’m quoting sounds the same as the others! I know that’s gonna happen. If I stopped in the middle of writing to correct that I fear I’d never get it done. I try to capture the idea of the dialogue and then I go back and re-write it. Each person that’s talking has to sound original. That also helps keep the tags at the end of a quote to a minimum.

When I go over the dialogue I take the idea of the sentence and compress it. Add the flavor of the person talking so the reader knows who it is without have to say “Norm said . . .” You get the idea.

Norm, as an example, will refer to Mick as “Hoss” at different times. When the reader sees Hoss he/she knows it’s Norm. Or, at least, I hope they do.

Putting too much of a dialect into a character’s talk will slow down the reader and may even turn him/her off. In a number of my books I have Irish characters. The Irish tend to drop the H in words. Thousands becomes Towesands.  The idea is you mention it once or twice and forget it and hope the reader understands.

I have an intermitted character from Louisiana. The few times he refers to his state I write it “Loos e anna.” If  you traveled in that area that’s they way many residents call the state.

Other characters in my books don’t want excess talk and try to bring whatever conversation around to the point, eliminating the fluff. Burt twirls his bush mustache when he talks and maybe mumbles too often.

The final test is to read it out loud. If it sounds off or mixed up, it usually is and I need to go back and re-write again.

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